bringing home hearts work
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running these shifty words 
in my head
over, over
'safety' 
'acceptance' 
'comfort'

I ease out feelings  
using lungs, rising
to soothe
belly constricted

You use the same card 
I threw 
the card I am trying to forcefully out 
as I breathe
I let the feelings that scare me 
engage 

St Augustine mumbles something to me 
and I write a simple prayer 
taking in my own fraternal dark
giving way for care of that place
drawn moves presenting
open, close

you infer yourself
show me my fellow
I call you 'sex kitten' 
aquainting a region of heart's work 
with itself 

oh this good girl bullshit 
all the things I could say with a look
and still pretend 
'who me?'

the close-fitting persona  
crafted to look thoughtless 
all while each detail is contained  
in it's show

slightly disheveled 
a blueprint saying I'm 'Okay' 
with cursive letters 
written in leaking ink 
saying
'I'm not, 
please see'

attend to that heart region 
let it dilate 
breaking character
dissecting peace
'peace I give you 
peace be with you'
I bring it home
granting clemency

heartbeat
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heartbeat 
one, two
resting
it's important I count them 
and if I can time it  
then I feel yours too

listen to a
heartbeat 
three, four
whatever became of you? 
did it empty that moment
arrhythmic  
lapse with the second hand
revolution in one breathe 
loss skipping next

I take in each heartbeat
claim internal swell 
shame leeching 
at the point of dilation
writing itself into the rhythm
hitting at it 
hers was an acting out 
mine a never acting
soon every second is seizure
either way you play

heartbeat 
five, six 
all the way to 100
this time will be different 
checking pulse 
steady 

Is artery tunnel? 
as I take in each pump
deeper exploration 
and did you know you share a heartbeat 
with those you tunnel dwell with? 
sleep next to in soft heat 
we share one heartbeat 
we rise and we fall

we must love each other

This poem was written for the community of JUST LOVE in Houston. Community members were asked to share a time when they received love and support and to commit to loving and supporting in specific ways. This poem takes their words and mashes them up in a community expression. Enjoy these BRIGHT souls' words. 

For the Corrector of Stories

this is for the correctors of stories

the ones who go behind you 

and clean it up 

busy like bees 

making the hive function 

when your story disrupts 

the mechanical hum 

 

this is for the erasure of words 

the quiet tidier 

behind the scenes 

 

when you finally get the courage to speak 

they 'help' by notating your words in vanishing ink 

 

this is for the sushhers

the ones who's look you get when you are out of line 

they can feel the comfort leave the room

and make it all better when the temperatures rise

they maintain the performance of components

set things straight 

when we move or tilt  

 

this is for the noise-canceler 

the microphone grabber

keeping out what should never be heard 

 

making sure the official story is louder 

limiting exposure of your barely audible words 

 

this is for the enforcer of correct narrative 

chewing pencil tips & pointing out flaws

they sense with their programmed logic

anything that is off from stigmatic view 

using force and then gentle correction 

claiming accountability 

though never of power  

 

this is for the conveyers of disgrace

the ones who say they are praying for you 

the stinky faced nose upturned whisperers

 

who make your throat clench 

and lower your gaze to the ground

 

this is for the maintainer of systems 

the ones who equip the function with balancing acts  

when you speak the system's function aloud  

they protect that truth fiercely at any cost

they work to calibrate careful emotions 

using your emotion as the axis 

that spins it all back 

 

and this is for you 

who has had enough

the one that is starting to spin

 

the one who thinks you must stay in place 

who's grinding voice, though, is growing from within